State Championship Goes Through Saginaw

Posted In: Sports, Local Sports,   From Issue 635   By: Jack B Tany

12th April, 2007     0

"Saginaw Rules" was a lead I planned on using when I sat down to write a column on the Michigan High School Athletic Association's boy's basketball finals, which were held at Michigan State University's Breslin Center March 24.

However, "Saginaw Dominates" is a much, much better lead because it spells out the quality of basketball that is being played throughout Saginaw County as Saginaw High, Arthur Hill, Bridgeport and Nouvel Catholic Central all turned in solid seasons.

In fact, two county teams have made it to the state championship game the past two seasons coming away with three state titles. Arthur Hill and Buena Vista captured state championships a year ago in Class A and Class C, respectively.

This year Saginaw High (Class A) and Nouvel Catholic Central (Class C) strolled to the title game with the Trojans taking home the championship trophy - the school's fourth, and first since 1996 - when they blasted Detroit Redford 79-57.

Corperyale Harris of Redford, this year's Mr. Basketball, poured in 31 points - including a 16 of 17 effort at the charity stripe - but he solid effort couldn't negate the overall talent and balance of Saginaw High. SHS's bench outscored Redford 15-6.

The Trojans were paced by Draymond Green who finished the night with 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. The 6-7 guard/forward is only a junior and many expect him to be in contention for the Mr. Basketball award. He has verbally committed to the University of Kentucky.

Saginaw High, however, is deep. Plenty deep. Senior Josh Southern, a 6-foot-10 pivot who will be taking his basketball talents to Boston College next season, snared 15 rebounds and also tallied 15 points. Fellow senior Bobby Lewis chipped in with 13 points and junior Daniel West helped out with seven points and eight assists.

* * *

A barrage of three-pointers denied Nouvel Catholic Central at a chance for the school's third state title this school year as Bath upended NCC 65-60 in the Class C contest. The Panthers have already won state championships in football and girl's basketball and were looking for the hat trick.

The Bees made 10 of 15 from beyond the arc (67 percent), including four consecutive bombs toward the end of the first half to tie the contest. The Panthers out rebounded Bath (47-34), had more bench points (15-5), fast-break points (6-4) and more points in the pant (32-22). Nouvel, however, attempted more treys than Bath (17-15), but canned just five of them.

Mark Schneider connected on a career-high 20 points to lead the Bees. Brett Monroe wasn't far behind with 19, while Eli Redman had 13 to go along with his 12 caroms and three blocks.

Nouvel (23-5), coached by Warren Wood, received 18 points from Tim Ryan and 14 from Mitch Mulcahy. John McColgan came off the bench to tally 10 points and grab nine boards.

* * *

Saginaw High coach Lou Dawkins was named Class A Coach of the Year by the Associated Press. Draymond Green of Saginaw High, Darquavius Tucker of Arthur Hill, Brad Redford of Frankenmuth and Tim Ryan of Nouvel Catholic Central all nabbed all-state first team honors. In addition, Tucker was voted Class A Player of the Year and Ryan earned the same accolades in Class C.

* * *

The title was Saginaw High's fourth-ever state title in boy's basketball. The High won their first title under Larry Laeding in 1942 when they defeated Muskegon 27-24 in overtime. Exactly 20 years later, Laeding again led the Trojans to the Class A title when Saginaw bested Benton Harbor 69-58. The Marshall Thomas-coached Trojans knocked off Southfield Lathrup 67-60 for the 1996 crown. Saginaw High has finished runner-up four times.      

* * *

Saginaw High's victory was Saginaw County's 19th boy's basketball title won since the tournament began in 1917. Buena Vista leads the way with six titles. Saginaw High and Nouvel have four each, with Arthur Hill claiming two, and St. Stephen, St. Mary and SS. Peter & Paul garnering one each.

* * *

Making the grade in black and white were Dale Brown and Stephen Kelley of Saginaw. Both were chosen as officials for the semifinal contests.

* * *

My All-Name Team: Corperryale Harris of Detroit Redford, Alex Marcotullio of Warren DeLaSalle, Deantwan Butler and Leviante Davis of Flint Southwestern-Academy, Justin Anyijong of East Grand Rapids, Kody Kokx and Sam Zeeb of Bath, Mike VanderPloeg of Kalamazoo Christian, Brad Cyr of Charlevoix, JuWan Shakespear and Zurlon Tipton of Sterling Heights Parkway Christian, Jared Mysliwiec of Wyoming Tri-Unity Christian, and Kasey Kowatch and Dakotah Kintigh of Bellaire.

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